Posted on: March 11, 2010 9:42 am
Edited on: March 11, 2010 1:38 pm

Big East Day 2 Recap



5) Marquette 57, 13) St. John's 55
11) Cincinnati 69, 6) Louisville 66
7) Notre Dame 68, 10) Seton Hall 56
8) Georgetown 69, 9) South Florida 49


We probably should just go ahead and hand this award to whichever game Marquette is playing in for the rest of the tournament. 

An amazing 12 of the Golden Eagles' 19 games against Big East opponents have been decided by three points or less. Twelve one-possession games out of 19. That's unreal. 

After suffering close defeat after close defeat in the early part of the season, Marquette has now won six of the last seven games decided by a possession, including yesterday's second round Big East Tournament triumph over de facto host St. John's. 

"We were 2-5, and since that time we've been in one- and two-possession games," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "... Everything has changed. The whole deal is this, our margin of error has never changed. The games that we lost, the lessons we learned, are just as important as the games we won by one or two possessions as well."

Spurred on by the New York crowd, the Red Storm, ahem, stormed back from a 14-point first half deficit to take a 53-52 lead with a little over two minutes to play. But David "Call Me Daveed" Cubillan's three-pointer with 1:11 to play gave Marquette a 55-53 lead they wouldn't relinquish. 

The Golden Eagles move on to face No. 4 Villanova, a squad that twice beat them by two points in early January. St. John's, conversely, moves into an offseason that will - at least early on - be dominated by talk of head coach Norm Roberts' future. 


In one performance Notre Dame silenced both those who feel they don't belong in the NCAA Tournament and those who feel they're better off without Luke Harangody. 

Behind 'Gody's 20 points and 10 rebounds, the Irish dominated a desperate Seton Hall team from start-to-finish. Though Notre Dame's teams in the Mike Brey era have been mostly defined by their offense, this squad has played its way into the field of 65 with its defense. The latest evidence of the shift in philosophy came last night as the Pirates, who had dropped 109 in their tournament opener, managed just 56 points.

"We prided ourselves on being one of the leading scoring teams - a real fun team to watch when we're running and firing," Brey said of his old Notre Dame teams. "Those days are over. We had to do something different. We couldn't run it up and down the floor anymore."

The Fighting Irish will play second-seeded Pitt at 7 p.m. on Thursday night. 


Louisville continued its quest to refuse any and all possible momentum by following its emotional victory over No. 1 Syracuse up with a lackluster loss to 11-seed Cincinnati.

From left, Jaquon Parker, Lance Stephenson and Ibrahima Thomas lead the Cincinnati Bearcats past the Louisville Cardinals.

The Cardinals led by nine at the half but were outhustled, out-scrapped and out-rebounded in the second 20 minutes and fell in their tournament opener for the third time in five years. U of L was outrebounded 28-9 on the offensive glass and 54-33 overall. 


--Luke Harangody (Notre Dame) - 20 points, 10 rebounds

--Edgar Sosa (Louisville) - 28 points

--Lazar Hawyward (Marquette) - 20 points, 9 rebounds

--Dominique Jones (South Florida) - 21 points


"We didn't rebound the ball, so we go home early and waste a lot of boosters' money." --Rick Pitino 


Ladies and gentlemen, your top seeds: 

#1 Syracuse vs. #8 Georgetown (Noon)
#4 Villanova vs. #5 Marquette (2pm)
#2 Pittsburgh vs. #7 Notre Dame (7pm)
#3 West Virginia vs. #11 Cincinnati (9pm)

Posted on: March 9, 2010 2:59 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2010 3:13 pm

South Florida keeps NCAA dreams alive


Thirty-five people at home and inside Madison Square Garden watched Dominique Jones score 20 points and snatch nine rebounds to lead ninth-seeded South Florida to a wire-to-wire 58-49 victory over No. 16 Depaul in the opening game of the Big East Tournament. 

South Florida's Dominique Jones scores 20 in Bulls' victory over DePaul.

Mike Mercer added 14 points for the Bulls (20-11) who kept their hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament alive. In order for that to happen, USF will almost certainly have to defeat Georgetown when the two face-off tomorrow at noon. South Florida stunned the then-No. 7 Hoyas 72-64 in D.C. on Feb. 3. 

Will Walker scored 20 points for the Blue Demons (8-23) which finished the season - one which saw them fire head coach Jerry Wainright in January - with their 13th straight loss. 

A few thoughts:

--Unless the Bulls can pull off a pair of upsets over the next two days, these noon games are about as close to playing in the national spotlight as Dominique Jones is ever going to get, and that's a shame. The kid is the real deal and his spot on the Big East's first team was much-deserved. I'd love to see USF get into the dance if only so Jones can get some of the recognition he deserves.

--Jerry "The Human Cartoon" Wainwright does not lose first round games in the expanded Big East Tournament. Depaul wins this one by three if JTHCW is kneeling on the sidelines. 

--The two teams were a combined 6-of-33 from behind the three-point line, with South Florida going 0-for-8 from deep. 

This was your vision, Tranghese. 

--When Stan Heath took this job, Dick Vitale called it, "the worst in all of college basketball." The man's done one hell of a job in a short amount of time. 

--Sticking with oft-troubled guard Mike Mercer may have been Heath's best move to date.

--Will Walker's solid (at least personally) career came to a close with a 20-point performance. 

--South Florida now has 20 wins for just the third time in program history and for the first time since 1990. I'd love to see them knock off Georgetown and sneak into the dance. They're the only Big East team that has any potential to claim a Cinderella story. 

Posted on: February 20, 2010 8:06 pm

Having a Time at DePaul

By C.M. Tomlin

9:00 PM

Wait, didn’t we just drive through here two days ago? We’re back again, as our jonesing for college basketball couldn’t be dampened even by the snowstorm which threw us off the Butler/Siena scent. Since we wouldn’t be able to traverse snowy roads to Indy, we decided rather to pop over and catch the Big East matchup of Louisville at DePaul. 

This means we’re once again in Chi-Town, where Mike Ditka lives on in the hearts and ridiculous moustaches of the Chicago Police Department. Deep dish pizza. Wrigleyville. Gonna be great time. 

Not so fast. While Depaul’s hip Linoln Park campus would be a great locale for a court, don’t forget that the Blue Demons play in Rosemont, Illinois’ Allstate Arena, which is also the home of IHL hockey team the Chicago Wolves and which you may also recall as hosting Wreslemanias 13 and 22 as well as hosting a leg of the Fleetwood Mac “Tusk” tour. 

If you’ve ever been to a facility that normally hosts an IHL hockey team, you know that arenas like this aren’t the prettiest girl in school anymore, and Allstate Arena is no exception. It’s rather cold and concrete, and a quick look at its Wikipedia page notes that it’s only reference in popular media is a shout-out from a 2004 History Channel program called Engineering Disasters

Now hear me out, DePaul students. I know that your arena looks like a set from Batman, and I know that it’s not exactly an exciting idea to leave your nirvana of coffee shops and upcscale boutiques and trudge up to hang out next to the airport all afternoon. But you have to support your team. We’ve been to two other schools – one of them Northern Iowa, for crying out loud, during a snowstorm – and both have involved student sections that nearly deafened us. And these weren’t your North Carolinas and your UCLAs. 

But when I have to wait for the introduction of your student section just to find out where it is, you’ve got problems. When a woman on a six-foot unicycle tossing bowls onto the top of her head at halftime gets a louder outpouring of emotion than your team does, it’s time to sound the alarm. You’re Big East basketball; you can do better than this. This ain’t the Atlantic Sun Conference (though, for the record, I can’t vouch for Lipscomb). I’m not exaggerating when I say I believe Louisville fans outnumber DePaul fans four to one at this game. You can do better than this. 

Because I’d rather light a candle than curse your darkness, DePaul, I’m going to get the ball rolling on some brainstorming here. Some ideas for your student section. 

-Wigs/Sunglasses/Headbands. Even a small fan base can look “crazier” with wigs. Sunglasses, headbands – all added bonuses. Use your imagination. Facepaint? Sure, go nuts. You know how, at major-league matchups, there’s always that group of guys in wigs pointing number one into the camera? Look, seriously, even if you could convince four guys to do that at every game into the camera, you’re already up a notch from where you are now. I’d scour the list of DePaul’s “Management Information Systems” program. Most of those guys have to be great BS artists already anyway.  

-Find someone to do something crazy (preferably not a student). This could be a middle aged car salesman from Joliet who loves breaking it down to “Brick House,” a guy who wears a giant foam cowboy hat and/or Richard Nixon mask, even an old couple who gets too overzealous on the first-half timeout kiss cam. It can’t be that hard to convince someone who lives 500 yards from the airport to throw on a lady wig and rock it out to the Black-Eyed Peas for five bucks, can it? 

-Would it kill you to put up one sign? I’ll buy the posterboard. And a sharpie. I’ll even throw out a topic: your starting guard’s is name Michael Bizoukas. Does that remind you of anything explosive that might make for a good sign or nickname? Discuss. That one’s free. I’m just trying to help. 

I want you to be happy, DePaul fans. I want you to have it all. But you gotta want it. I’m looking at the student section right now, and one guy in a suit isn’t going to cut it. “Suit Guy” isn’t ever going to catch on. But at least Suit Guy appears to be trying.

You can turn this around, DePaul. I believe in you. Look forward to a giant crate of blue wigs and Zubaz pants next week. I’m just going to send it to the admissions office. You’re on your own from there. 

Posted on: February 20, 2010 3:59 pm

Louisville-Depaul Notes and Musings


4:15 PM

Five Thoughts on Louisville- Depaul, a game I would have never imagined I would attend:

1.  Mark Aguirre is Not Walking Through that Door

I am not certain how it is that Depaul isnt a basketball power.  They play in a city that produces top high school talent like Rick Pitino produces Boos and hisses at a NOW convention.  Yet it has essentially been irrelevant on the national basketball scene for 20 years and has watched as fellow Big East schools in talent black holes like West Virginia and Syracuse have become Top Ten programs.  Four NCAA Tournament appearances in 20 years in a city in which basketball is THE local sports of passion.  There is simply no excuse.

2.  The Louisville Staff is Bizarre Looking in Person

Listen we could make Rick Pitino jokes all day (and we will).  And yes, he has somehow transformed from the most handsome and dapper coach in college basketball in the 90s into a slightly less creepy version of The Cryptkeeper .  But he isnt the only one that would turn heads.  Assistant Coach Ralph Willard is channeling Christopher Lloyd in "Back to the Future" and Ron Mercer/Steve Masiello both look like they ate the college versions of themselves that played at Kentucky.  If ever there were a staff that needed an Extreme Makeover, Louisville would fit the bill.

3.  Empty Arenas Make Your Eyes Explore

Our first two stops on this trip were in arenas with loud student sections and crowds doing some version of a "White-out" in order to get ready for a big game.  This arena is only about 65% full and half of the crowd may be Louisville fans.  Thus I am able to look around and seek diversions in other parts of the building.  My favorite part of the Depaul arena is the 50 year old woman holding up a sign behind me that says "Even Tiger Would be a Better Husband than you would Rick."  Success is indeed a choice.

4.  Louisville Travels Amazingly Well

I have been to a lot of big arenas and watched the largest fan bases do their thing.  No one is more passionate and travels better than the Big Blue Nation of Kentucky.  But in terms of sheer numbers relative to their size, Louisville might be #2 in America.  Yes teams like Kansas, North Carolina and Duke may have more fans, but when the game is somewhere else and presence needs to be found, the Card faithful represent their team better than any of those groups per capita. 

5.  Bob Valvano is Not Scared to Look at Your Funny

Lets say that you happened to be in Cedar Falls, Iowa last night for a Northern Iowa game.  And then lets say that you drove all night and ended up at a Depaul game on Saturday afternoon.  And then pretend that for both games, ESPN analyst Bob Valvano was doing tv work and he saw you and your fellow roadtrippers in both places, wearing the same clothes because you hadnt had time to take a shower.  In such a situation, he will look at you funny and stay at least five feet away...just so you know in case you are ever in the same situation. 

Posted on: February 20, 2010 2:23 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2010 11:13 pm

Why are we at DePaul and what's that smell?

By: Drew Franklin

1:10 PM

Last night’s Iditarod-like drive from Cedar Falls to Cedar Rapids left us stranded at a Days Inn, which happened to be the official hotel of the Spam Museum and the Alzheimer’s-To-Work program of Iowa.  It was here that we sat down for a rigorous 45-minute board meeting of road trip salvaging.

With our originally scheduled game, Sienna-Butler, out of the question, it was time to figure out the next move for this traveling circus.  I suggested watching today’s slate of games from the Freezing Beaver in Waterloo but Tomlin is allergic to glitter.  Matt requested a CBS helicopter but there is a no helicopter clause in our contract with the Kia Ronda.   Tomlin tried closing his eyes and pointing to a location in Rand McNally’s Magical Book of Mystery but kept landing on Wal-Marts and Sam's Clubs.  After a few more failed attempts at the selection process, we decided to each draw a team out of the Days Inn ice bucket and select the best of the three:

Matt drew Howard University.

I drew the University of Phoenix.

Tomlin drew Louisville.

The decision was easy:  Louisville is at DePaul.  DePaul is an easy drive.  Chicago is doable.  Louisville has Rick Pitino.  Rick Pitino is an easy target.  Karen Sypher is doable.

So, here we are, last minute additions to the DePaul media roster.   We smell like last night’s truck stop diner, stale Wisconsin cheese, and Bob Valvano.  The teams just tipped-off and I couldn’t be any less interested in the outcome.

See you soon.  (Hopefully)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com